From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Blasphemy is the defamation of the name of one or more gods. These may include using sacred names as stress expletives without intention to pray or speak of sacred matters. Sometimes blasphemy is used loosely to mean any profane language, for example in "With much hammering and blasphemy, the locomotive's replacement spring was finally fitted."
In a broader sense, blasphemy is irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable. In this broader sense the term is used by Sir Francis Bacon in the Advancement of Learning, when he speaks of "blasphemy against learning".
The word "blasphemy" came via Middle English blasfemen and Old French blasfemer and Late Latin blasphemare from Greek βλασφημέω, from βλάπτω = "I injure" and φήμη = "reputation". From blasphemare also came Old French blasmer, from which English "blame" came.
- Eternal sin
- Freedom of speech versus blasphemy
- Minced oath
- Gerard Reve
- Verbal offence
- Victimless crime